‘Don’t be tempted to drive after booze-fuelled World Cup viewings!’

Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Picture: Press Association
Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Picture: Press Association

The ambulance and blood services have already warned of increased demand as the World Cup looms, and now police are urging football fans to forget about drink-driving during the tournament.

Officers from the Herts force say they will be targeting drivers throughout the international sporting event – which starts tonight – straight after matches and even the following mornings.

They will also be asking for supporters planning to drive to watch games in pubs to be extra vigilant.

Chief Insp Richard Hann of the road policing unit said: “It is important that anyone thinking of getting behind the wheel either following a match or the morning after a heavy day or night of drinking thinks carefully.

“This time of year always carries a greater risk of drink-driving and we need to target our enforcement on this for the driver’s safety and also for the safety of others.

“We encourage people showing support for their teams in the World Cup, but we also want people to have a good time responsibly. Please do not take the risk of driving if you plan to drink as you will more than likely be caught and the potential consequences on both yourself and others will be severe and won’t be worth the risk.”

According to police, it takes at least an hour for each unit of alcohol to enter the body and a further hour to leave it – so you would have to wait 13 hours after drinking four pints before you could safely drive again.

Drink-driving carries a minimum 12-month disqualification, a fine of up to £5,000 and possibly even prison time, as well as penalty points on your licence for 10 years.

The East of England Ambulance Service Trust has asked pub-goers during the World Cup to be safe and help reduce the strain on the emergency services, while the NHS Blood and Transplant service called for extra donors to boost blood stocks to cope with extra demand during the competition.